The Native Plant Gardens along the Tule River Parkway are demonstrating the benefits of time to grow. The Hillside Serenity Garden’s first planting was in March 2019 and the newest garden was begun in October 2021. This week’s featured plant is Coyote Mint. Coyote Mint flowers from June through the summer and is a frequent component in butterfly or bee gardens. This plant is easy to grow and looks best with weekly water during the dry months. The Monardella villosa species of Coyote Mint is endemic to California which means it only occurs naturally within California. It is a perennial herb that forms a small bush or matted tangle of hairy mint-scented foliage. The fragrance is one of the best features of this plant. If used along paths or in front of larger shrubs their fragrance can be appreciated, and butterflies observed. Other low-growing perennials, annuals, native grasses, or succulents add interest when interplanted with Coyote Mint.
Coyote Mint produces rounded flower clusters of bright lavender or pink flowers that are attractive to butterflies and hummingbirds. It is a nectar source for many butterflies, including monarch (Danaus plexippus), Chalcedon checkerspot (Euphydryas chalcedona), and pale swallowtail (Papilio eurymedon), western tiger swallowtail (P. rutulus), calliope fritillary (Speyeria calliope), and several species of skippers. This plant was used by Native American groups as a remedy for stomach upset, respiratory conditions, and sore throat. It may also be steeped into a mint tea.
The following are just five of the plants which you can see blooming in a quarter-mile walk along the Tule River Parkway between Jaye Street and Parkway Drive.
Coyote Mint, (Monardella villosa),
California Goldenrod (Solidago velutina ssp. californica)
Narrow Leaf Milkweed (Asclepias fascicularis)
Bush Monkeyflower (Diplacus aurantiacus)
Desert Marigold (Baileya multiradia
Coyote Mint and many other California native plants are available at Quercus Landscape Design in Springville https://quercuslandscapedesign.com/availability, Luis’ Nursery 139 S Mariposa Ave, Visalia, and Alta Vista Nursery in Three Rivers which is open by appointment 559-799-7438. More information on this plant can be found at calscape.org by searching for the plant by name.
Each of the Native Plant Demonstration Gardens is featured on the TRPA website.
The Tule River Parkway is a City of Porterville public park which features a three-mile paved walking and bicycle path. The gardens were planted and maintained by volunteers with project management by the T
ule River Parkway Association. We have three volunteer garden days each month. Follow Tule River Parkway Association on Facebook for announcements. Upcoming gardening events are July 16, 21, and 23 from 7:30 to 11 am. The public is encouraged to explore the gardens to learn more about the featured plants and the project. For More information contact TRPA at firstname.lastname@example.org
Submitted by Cathy Capone 6-24-2022